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Data Paper (Biosciences)
Quantitative data from six years (2013-2018) of light trap sampling of macromoths (Lepidoptera) in Mt. Hallasan National Park, South Korea
expand article infoSei-Woong Choi, Sang-Hyeon Na
‡ Mokpo National University, Muan, South Korea
Open Access

Abstract

Background

This paper presents the results of long-term monitoring of macromoth communities in Mt. Hallasan National Park, South Korea. This mountain shows an altitudinal gradient of vegetation from evergreen deciduous to boreal trees, harbouring more than 550 species of vascular plants. The goal of this project was to investigate the changes in moth assemblages along the altitudinal gradient in this mountain ecosystem. We monitored macromoth communities at 11 sites in Mt. Hallasan National Park from 2013 to 2018, during which time moths were collected once a month from May to October, using an ultraviolet bucket trap. The generated dataset, which represented 587 species and 13,249 individuals from 14 families, can be adopted to establish a baseline for development of a network-orientated database to assess temporal and spatial changes of moths in temperate and tropical forests.

New information

This is the first long-term sampling-event dataset on macromoth assemblages in changing vegetation from evergreen deciduous to boreal tree zones, conducted in Mt. Hallasan National Park, the national park at the highest elevation and located on the largest volcanic island in South Korea. The aim of this study was to provide a description and a link to published data in the format of a peer-reviewed journal and to provide recognition of the effort in a scholarly article (based on data paper definition published at https://www.gbif.org/en/data-papers).

Introduction

Island ecosystems are self-maintaining entities with well-defined geographical limits and are the combined products of geography (area, latitude, altitude, isolation), ecology (geology, biotope availability, history, land use and management), biology (mobility, colonisation capability, presence of organisms) and time. Thus, island biota are considered ‘individuals’ carrying unique information regarding complex interactions amongst biological, geographical and historical factors (Vitousek et al. 1995, Lomolino et al. 2010Dapporto and Dennis 2008). However, a number of difficulties, inherent to examining biological diversity and ecosystem functioning on islands, exist due to the less diverse and disharmonious ecosystems and the varying degree of anthropogenic alteration (Vitousek et al. 1995). Montane species on islands are often endemic to a single mountain range and are vulnerable to climate change because they tend to occur in small populations, isolated from other source populations, climatically restricted and limited from moving to higher elevations upon reaching the summit of the mountain (Meyer et al. 2015).

Lepidoptera are one of the mega-diversity insect groups, comprised of more than 160,000 species that play important roles as herbivores and pollinators in terrestrial ecosystems. They also act as a food source for birds and bats and a vital linkage in the food chain between plants and higher trophic organisms. Due to their diversity, easy sampling with a light trap and known habitat associations, moths are considered one of the most suitable insect groups for assessing species diversity against changes in landscape change and management (Alison et al. 2017, Dirzo et al. 2014, Hallmann et al. 2019, Kamikura and Sakata 2019, Kitching et al. 2000, Macgregor et al. 2016, Summerville et al. 2004).

The aim of this study was to investigate the diversity and changes in macromoth communities at 11 sites in Mt. Hallasan National Park, South Korea, over a period of six years (2013-2018). We sampled macromoths to monitor their long-term changes in an island’s mountain ecosystem. The elevational gradient along Mt. Hallasan National Park has resulted in vertical stratification of vegetation zones from boreal to evergreen deciduous, producing a unique biodiversity pattern (Kang 2006, Kong 2007). Elevation gradients on mountains have the potential to enhance our understanding of the impact of climate change on biological communities. Thus, the diversity and distribution of montane species will be a baseline for development of a network-orientated database to assess species responses to climate change in temperate and tropical forests.

Project description

Title: 

Long-term monitoring of macromoths in the southern mountains of South Korea

Personnel: 

Sei-Woong Choi and Sang-Hyeon Na

Study area description: 

Mt. Hallasan National Park (highest peak 1,950 m above sea level, total area 149 km2), one of South Korea’s 22 National Parks, is located on the nation’s largest volcanic island, Jeju-do (126°09'42"–126°56'57" E, 33°11'27"–33°33'50" N, 1,825 km2, Fig. 1). The annual average temperature of Jeju-do Island is 5.3-10.9°C in areas more than 600 m above sea level and 15.2–16.2°C in coastal areas and the annual precipitation is 2,968-4,746 mm in areas more than 600 m above sea level and 1,095-1,851 mm in coastal areas (Kang 2006).

Figure 1.  

Map of the survey sites in Mt. Hallasan, Jeju-do, South Korea.

The vegetation on Mt. Hallasan is comprised of four zones: alpine zone (> 1,800 m a.s.l.), subalpine zone (1,500–1,800 m), temperate deciduous tree zone (400–1,500 m) and evergreen deciduous tree zone (600 m in the southern aspect and 400 m in the northern aspect) (Kong 2007). The alpine zone is characterised by dwarf trees (Taxus cuspidata Sieb. & Zucc., Betula ermani Chamisso) and shrubs (Diapenis lapponica var. obovata F. Schmidt, Vaccinium uliginosum L., Empetrum nigrum var. japonicum L. Koch., Juniperus chinensis var. sargentii Henry, Rhododendron mucronulatum var. ciliatum Nakai). The subalpine zone is characterised by conifers (Abies koreana Wilson, Taxus cuspidata Sieb. & Zucc.) and deciduous trees (Betula ermani Chamisso). The temperate deciduous tree zone is covered with deciduous trees, such as Quercus serrata Thunb., Q. acuta Thunb., Q. glauca Thunb., Carpinus laxiflora (Sieb. & Zucc.) Blume, C. tschonoskii Maxim., Acer palmatum Thunb., Daphniphyllum macropodum Miq. and Castanopsis cuspidata var. siebildii Nakai. Evergreen deciduous trees, such as Cinnamomum campora Sieb., Machilus thunbergii Sieb. & Zucc., Quercus myrsinaefolia Bl. and Camellia japonica L., are commonly observed at low altitudes. About 550 species of vascular plants are distributed on Mt. Hallasan amongst 1,800 plants found on Jeju-do Island (Kong 2007).

Funding: 

National Research Foundation of Korea (2018R1D1A1B07046637)

Sampling methods

Study extent: 

Geographic coverage: Survey areas for collecting moths comprised evergreen deciduous and subalpine tree zones (Table 1

Site information on Mt. Hallasan National Park, South Korea

Site Code

Local site name

Elevation

Latitude (N)

Longitude (E)

Vegetation

JJ_1

HRR (L)

278 m

33°18′57.0″

126°37′09.9″

Evergreen

JJ_2

HRR (H)

525 m

33°19′56.7″

126°36′25.7″

Evergreen

JJ_3

SPA (H)

752 m

33°22′14.0″

126°37′31.6″

Temperate deciduous

JJ_4

CWS

673 m

33°24′36.1″

126°29′43.3″

Temperate deciduous

JJ_5

SPA (L)

645 m

33°23′06.7″

126°37′16.0″

Temperate deciduous

JJ_6

YS (L)

963 m

33°19′57.6″

126°27′52.6″

Temperate deciduous

JJ_7

ERM

954 m

33°23′31.6″

126°29′13.0″

Temperate deciduous

JJ_8

1100top

1109 m

33°21′32.1″

126°27′44.4″

Temperate deciduous

JJ_9

SJB

1410 m

33°22′32.2″

126°29′58.8″

Subalpine

JJ_10

YS (H)

1630 m

33°21′31.3″

126°30′29.1″

Subalpine

JJ_11

USOR

1699 m

33°21′43.5″

126°31′10.0″

Subalpine

Sampling description: 

Sampling method: An ultraviolet light bucket trap, consisting of a 22 Watt ultraviolet circline light tube with a 12 V battery (BioQuip Co., USA), was employed to collect moths at each survey site. Moth sampling was conducted for five hours after dusk. To minimise sampling bias, we sampled moths simultaneously at all 11 sites. Traps were emptied the morning after collection and insects were brought to the lab for identification. Moths were identified at species level using taxonomic literature (Kim et al. 2001, Kononenko et al. 1998, Shin 2001, Kim et al. 2016). Vouchers of collected specimens were deposited in the collection of the Laboratory of Environmental Education, Mokpo National University, South Korea.

Geographic coverage

Description: 

Survey areas for collecting moths comprised evergreen deciduous and subalpine tree zones

Coordinates: 

33-18 and 33-24 Latitude; 126-37 and 126-27 Longitude.

Taxonomic coverage

Description: 

Macromoths targeted for this study comprised the moth families that traditionally fall under the category of macrolepidoptera (Kristensen and Skalski 1999), plus two easily identified microlepidoptera families: Bombycidae, Drepanidae, Erebidae, Geometridae, Noctuidae, Nolidae, Notodontidae, Limacodidae, Lasiocampidae, Sphingidae, Saturniidae, Thyrididae, Uraniidae and Zygaenidae.

Temporal coverage

Notes: 

We sampled moths once a month from May to October from 2013 to 2018.

Usage rights

Use license: 
Creative Commons Public Domain Waiver (CC-Zero)

Data resources

Data package title: 
Six years of data (2013-2018) of macromoths (Lepidoptera) in Mt. Hallasan National Park, Republic of Korea
Number of data sets: 
3
Data set name: 
Data_jejudo_taxaa
Character set: 
UTF-8
Data format: 
csv
Column label Column description
ID ID number
Taxon Species name used in data file (Data-Jejudo-data.csv)
Family Family name for each species
Species in full name Genus, species, author and publication year
Data set name: 
Data_Jejudo_data.csv
Character set: 
UTF-8
Data format: 
csv
Column label Column description
Site Eleven survey site code
Site code Site abbreviation
Date Collection date (yyyy-mm-dd)
Taxon Species
Number of individuals Number of individuals collected
Data set name: 
Data_Jejudo_site_information
Character set: 
UTF-8
Data format: 
csv
Column label Column description
Site code Eleven survey site code
Site abbreviation in English Site abbreviation for site code
Elevation (m) Elevation above sea level for each survey site
Latitude (N) Geographic latitude (WG84)
Longitude (E) Geographic longitude (WG84)
Vegetation type Dominant vegetation type for each survey site

Additional information

Suppl. material 1: The total number of moths collected at 11 sites on Mt. Hallasan represented 587 species and 13,249 individuals from 14 families. Amongst the sites surveyed, the total number of species was highest at site JJ_4 (293 species) and the total number of individuals was highest at site JJ_3 (2738 individuals) (Table 2,Table 3).

Numbers of families, species and individuals collected in Mt. Hallasan National Park, South Korea, from 2013 to 2018.

Site

Number of families

Number of species

Number of individuals

JJ_1

12

221

814

JJ_2

12

206

922

JJ_3

13

248

2,738

JJ_4

11

293

1,763

JJ_5

13

216

1,600

JJ_6

11

185

2,011

JJ_7

11

225

1,598

JJ_8

11

174

997

JJ_9

10

110

457

JJ_10

7

57

216

JJ_11

7

37

133

Total

14

587

13,249

Yearly summary of numbers of species and individuals collected from 2013 to 2018 in Mt. Hallasan National Park, South Korea.

Year

Number of families

Number of species

Number of individuals

2013

12

243

1,526

2014

11

254

2,255

2015

11

236

2,037

2016

13

248

1,671

2017

12

315

2,996

2018

13

330

2,764

Total

14

587

13,249

The family Geometridae was dominant in the total number of species (33%) and in the total number of individuals (42%) (Figs 2, 3). The three families, Geometridae, Erebidae, and Noctuidae, comprised most of the samples: 81.6% of the total species and 79.5% of the total individuals. On the other hand, moths of the Bombycidae and Zygaenidae families represented one and two species, respectively.

Figure 2.  

Number of moth species in each family collected from 11 sites in Mt. Hallasan National Park from 2013 to 2018.

Figure 3.  

Number of moth individuals in each family collected from 11 sites in Mt. Hallasan National Park from 2013 to 2018.

A geometrid species, Alcis angulifera was dominant with 1,618 individuals, occurring at all survey sites. In addition, five species Hydrillodes morosa, Ghoria gigantean, Lomographa temerata, Idaea biselata and Diarsia pacifia occurred at all survey sites.

Acknowledgements

We are grateful to all members of the Environmental Ecology Laboratory of Mokpo National University for their assistance in the field. We thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions. This study was supported by a grant from the National Research Foundation of Korea (2018R1D1A1B07046637).

Author contributions

Sei-Woong Choi conceived and designed the experiments, performed the field experiments, analysed the data, contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools, authored or reviewed drafts of the paper and approved the final draft.

Sang-Hyeon Na performed the field experiments, compiled the data, authored or reviewed drafts of the paper and approved the final draft.

References

Supplementary material

Suppl. material 1: Six years of data (2013-2018) of macromoths (Lepidoptera) in Mt. Hallasan National Park, Republic of Korea 
Authors:  Choi, SW, Na, SH
Data type:  occurrences